SI Joint Injections
Chronic back, hip and leg pain can be caused by the Sacro-Iliac Joint, which can be injured by a car
accident, fall, or pregnancy. Injury to the joint can produce low back, hip, and leg symptoms. It can also hurt as the surrounding muscles become tight and weak. An SI joint injection involves placing a small amount of medication into the sacro-iliac joint to help reduce swelling and pain and the joint. Because the SI joint is very hard to access, imaging needs to be used to get medication into the joint with any accuracy. Our physicians are experts in accessing the SI joint.
Most patients get relief and return to normal activities. If the problem is more severe, the pain can usually be controlled.
What are the symptoms?
Patients usually experience pain at the back of the hip and into the low back. Pain, numbness, tingling, or burning may also be felt in the front of the thigh. In addition, numbness and tingling down the leg can occur.
How is the problem diagnosed?
The first part of the diagnosis is a physical examination. Your doctor will look for local tenderness over the joint as well as in associated areas. In addition, hands-on assessment of the joint’s mobility may be performed. Finally, the standard of diagnosis is a positive response to an SI joint injection. MRI’s and x-rays usually do not show the problem.
The SI Joint injection procedure
Your doctor will take a picture of the joint with a x-ray. The skin will then be numbed or you will be given sedation. A needle will be inserted into the joint and anesthetic and anti-inflammatory medicine will be injected. If your SI joint is causing pain, making it numb will reduce your symptoms
Manual manipulation or mobilization of the joint can help restore mobility and reduce pain. Exercises can help strengthen the surrounding muscles. Deep massage, stretching, and IMS treatment can treat tight muscles that may be overloading the joint.
SI joint injections can be used to reduce pain and allow more effective rehabilitation. These are first performed with anti-inflammatory. If your pain returns, prolotherapy injections can usually help heal the joint long-term.[
What else can I do to help the problem?
The expression, “someone’s pulling my leg” may have more meaning to patients with SI Joint Syndrome. A simple stretch may help relieve your pain. Lie face up on the ground. Have someone else help you with this stretch. Gently hike the hip that has pain. This means bringing that hip slightly upward toward your head. Have someone else firmly and slowly pull your leg for a count of 10. Repeat this 3-4 times. Download the PDF below for illustrations of these stretches.
The piriformis muscle is frequently involved in SI joint syndrome. This muscle connects the tailbone to the hip and can cause sciatica. Stretching this muscle can often help reduce leg pain. Ask your doctor or therapist before attempting this stretch. Stretch the hip with pain: Lie face up on your back. Place the foot over the opposite knee. Add a stretch to the painful hip by bringing the knee to the floor.
Information on SI joint problems and illustrations of stretches to do at home.
National library of medicine indexed article published by our clinic for physians to learn how to inject the joint.